In an emergency evacuation, people almost always come in close proximity as they quickly leave a built environment under a potential threat. With COVID19, this situation presents yet another challenge: that of getting unintentionally exposed to an infected individual. To assess the epidemiological consequences of an emergency evacuation, we expanded a popular pedestrian dynamic model to enable social distancing during a normal exit and analyze the effect of possible transmission through respiratory droplets and aerosol. Computer simulations point to a troubling outcome, whereby the benefits of a quick exit could be outweighed by the risk of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry